From strangers buying each other's groceries to neighbours leaving flowers for one another, Facebook group The Kindness Pandemic is amplifying positive moments happening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
After a disturbing visit to a supermarket in Geelong, Victoria, Dr Catherine Barrett’s friend told her what she saw.
The supermarket cashier’s arms were scratched and bruised after panic-buyers became violent.
Feeling disheartened, Dr Barrett launched a campaign called The Kindness Pandemic, encouraging people to print out kind messages and post them around their local supermarket.
“Kindness won’t make coronavirus go away but what it can do is change our experience of it,” she told SBS News.
The campaign quickly grew into a Facebook community with more than 500,000 members and saw people from all over Australia sharing random acts of kindness - and not just in supermarkets.
Here are just some of the stories being shared this week.
Dr Barrett is the founder and director of the national advocacy program Celebrate Ageing but now spends about 10 hours a day moderating her growing online community.
She says she is surprised at the number of people who have said the group makes them feel better about themselves amid everything that is currently happening in the world and despite their personal struggles.
“Someone even said their psychologist recommended they take a look at this group,” she said.
It has also had an impact on her personally.
“Somebody rang me and said ‘I'm worried that you’re on your own’, and I said ‘I'm not alone. I’m with [hundreds of thousands of] people!’ And I think that’s the experience of some people in the group too.”
Dr Barrett is now encouraging others to set up their own pages to collate acts of kindness in their suburb, town or city.
Would you like to share your story with SBS News? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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